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The latest news from the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Vol. 12 No. 1

Working to Protect The Ojai Valley’s Future - Today

Spring 2005

Preserves Weather Winter Storms Some areas may not re-open until late spring


Just like much of the Valley and Ventura County, The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s (OVLC) Preserves were affected by the recent winter storms. Preliminary field surveys have revealed isolated damage to some recreational trails and streamside habitat. “In San Antonio Creek and along the Ventura River, water has changed the landscape in significant ways,” explains Preserve Manager Rich Handley.

B Confluence Preserve above, before the recent storms and shown above right after the torrential rains

“Boulders, topsoil and trees are gone in many places, but overall the Preserves seem to have weathered the onslaught of rushing flood waters.” The Ventura RiverRancho El Nido Preserve was temporarily closed in January and certain areas will remain off-limits to the public through spring. For your safety, please check with Conservancy staff before planning a visit and read all information posted at trailheads and throughout the Conservancy’s trail system. To learn the latest Preserve conditions please visit

Ventura River Rancho El Nido Preserve before and during the recent storms

Conservancy News

October Events Draw Crowds 5K RUN DRAWS MANY

Environmental Learning Series program, the Conservancy hopes to keep this theme alive in 2005 by hosting another world adventurer.

ctober was a busy month for the Conservancy with two successful community events. The first ever 5K Open Space Run and Walk at the Ventura River-Rancho El Nido Preserve drew over 150 runners from around Southern California. The course followed a scenic route through the eastern half of the Preserve and participants received a shirt, refreshments and prizes.


To learn how you can volunteer to help us with events, at the office and on our preserves, please turn to “How You Can Help” on Page 7.

Rick Ridgeway signs copies of his latest book

Your’re never too young!

RIDGEWAY SPEAKS TO LARGE CROWD n October 9, Rick Ridgeway, local resident and worldO renowned adventurer, spoke to a large crowd at the Ojai Playhouse about his most recent travels in Tibet. Ridgeway and other fellow explorers trekked across an unmapped section of Tibet seeking the elusive calving grounds of the endangered Chiru, a threatened antelope. Ridgeway’s riveting tales and colorful multimedia presentation kept everyone in their seats for the full two-hour program. Encouraged by the success of this

OVLC Rings In New Year With Gala Event Rainforest Plant Co. transformed T he the Oak View Community Center into a lush jungle, setting the tone for this years’ New Years Eve bash. Open space supporters were treated to a delicious buffet, refreshments and great music provided live by the Equilibrium Quintet. Guests enjoyed a silent auction highlighted by the generosity and magnificent pottery of Ojai’s own Otto Heino. In total, the OVLC raised over $14,000 from Johnny Johnston displays his Mother ticket sales, business sponsorships and Earth Award as Board Member auction items. John Broesamle, Advisory Council Special highlights of the evening Member Pat Weinberger and included presentations of the first ever, Executive Director Jim Engel look on “Mother Earth Award,” to former Ojai City Manager Johnny Johnston for his past effort to keep at bay plans for a four lane highway through Ojai. Otto Heino also received special recognition for his generosity to our open space efforts. Please see page 6 for more on the NYE event.


TURNER ESTATE GIFT WILL HELP OPEN SPACE EFFORT and Ollie Turner were longtime P aul Conservancy supporters and their generosity continued with a $40,000 estate gift after Mr. Turner’s passing in 2004. “The Conservancy is very grateful to the Turners for their generosity, trust and belief in our mission,” explains Conservancy President Larry Ragan. Unrestricted estate gifts to the Conservancy are placed in reserve and endowment accounts to help secure the future mission of the organization, provide stewardship for existing preserves, care for over twenty miles of trail and purchase additional open space lands.

Our informative brochure describing how to include the Conservancy in your estate plans is available through the office at 646-7930 or at our website

Upcoming Events Preserve Bird Walks Dates: Saturdays, February 19, March 18, April 16, & May 21 Time: Call for time Location: Call for location Join our birding enthusiasts to learn more about the many colorful birds of the Ojai Valley.

San Juan River Rafting Adventure Dates: April 4-9, 2005 • Location: Bluff, Utah Spring will be here before we know it! Time to make your final plans and join our rafting adventure on the San Juan River in southeastern Utah, while benefiting the Conservancy. Cost is $940/adults and $853/children. For more details about this extraordinary opportunity, please call our office for a packet: 646-0251. Peter Brand and Sue Bee bird watch during one of the monthly walks sponsored by OVLC

Saturday Mornings At The River Dates: Saturdays, February 26, March 26 & May 28 Time: 9:00 am • Location: Riverview Trailhead Join Preserve Manager Rich Handley and learn all about the natural wonders of the Ventura River Preserve. Walk On The Wild Side: Rancho El Nido Preserve Dates: Fridays, March 11, April & May 6 Time: 9:00 am • Location: Riverview Trailhead Hikers will have a chance to learn about the wild side of the Ventura River and learn about the challenges the Conservancy faces in restoring native habitat. Good hiking shoes, water and a snack are required for this two and half hour exploration.

Wildflower Walk At Ilvento Date: Saturday, April 23 Time: 9:00 am Location: Fox Street Park & Ride Preserve Manager Rich Handley will lead a wildflower walk on the Land Conservancy’s 80-acre Ilvento Preserve. Don’t miss this once a year opportunity.

Our events offer something for everyone

All programs require pre-registration. Call 646-0251 or email us at

Welcome To New Board Members, Officers and Staff year at the OVLC Officers are chosen from A new means thanking outthe existing board of direcgoing board members, while welcoming new board and officers to the organization. This year the OVLC has invited George Berg and Barry Betlock to join our board. George, a retired engineer, has lived George Berg in the Valley since 1984 and has been a long-time supporter of the OVLC’s mission. He also brings a strong background in strategic planning, which will help us plan for the future. Barry Betlock is a local realtor and another strong believer in our vision. He has been a member of the OVLC events committee for several years and hopes to help the organization grow.

Jane Lax

tors. This year’s officers include: Larry Ragan, President; Sally Coleman, Vice President; Barbara Washburn, Treasurer; and Allan Jacobs, Secretary. Jane Lax, our new membership Outreach Director, Barry Betlock joins the Conservancy staff with a wealth of community involvement, event planning and fundraising background. She was born and raised in Santa Paula and loves that open space protection is an important priority to Ojai Valley residents. During the coming year, Jane will become a familiar face in the community and she is looking forward to meeting as many local people as possible.


OJAI VALLEY LAND CONSERVANCY Post Office Box 1092 Ojai, California 93024 Office Phone • (805) 646-7930 Fax • 646-0253 Events Hotline • (805) 646-0251 Street Address: 250 E. Ojai Ave. #B • Arcade Plaza Website •




Larry Ragan • President Sally Coleman • Vice President Barbara Washburn • Treasurer Allan Jacobs • Secretary George Berg Barry Betlock John Broesamle Roger Essick Jim Exon Ellen Hall Marc Larson Wendy Lockwood

ADVISORY COUNCIL Caryn Bosson Vickie Byrne Fred Bysshe Thad Hyland Jim Jackson Joan Kemper Philip Moncharsh Steve Olsen Alan Rains Michael Shapiro Nina Shelley Spencer Silver Mansfield Sprague Carl Thelander David Trudeau

Pat Weinberger Allan West

STAFF Jim Engel • Executive Director Richard Handley • Preserve Manager Jane Lax • Membership Outreach Director


President’s Message Salutations And Best Wishes for 2005 name is Larry Ragan and I was M yrecently chosen to be your president. I am very much honored to assist in leading this vital organization, and even more honored to be mentored by our outgoing president, Jim Jackson. Jim has been an extraordinary presence as a member, a three-term president, and as a citizen of the Ojai Valley. I know that all of you will join me in thanking him for his service to our organization and our community. Fortunately, Jim will continue to volunteer and assist the board and its committees. I suppose you might be wondering about who I am and how I got to be your president? My wife, Laura, and son, Walker, and I moved here in September 2001. Laura grew up in Santa Barbara, and I lived there for twenty years, before, during and after attending UCSB. I graduated from UCSB with an Environmental Studies degree in 1980. In 1988 we moved to Boise, Idaho, where soon after began publishing a weekly alternative newspaper. Upon selling the paper and spending a few months assisting a public access station launch in Boise, we decided to move back to Southern California and be near Laura’s parents. We love the Ojai Valley for all its beauty, and have grown especially fond of its community spirit. I remain active, in a part time capacity, with a wind energy company actively preparing a site for development in S.E. Idaho. I also spent three years working with a land trust in the Boise area. Although we were young and had nary a small portion of the success seen by OVLC here in Ojai, it helped me to understand the workings of what it takes to develop the “asks”, and funds to begin to acquire lands for protecting. I will apply these past skills, with the help of our board, members, and volunteers to continue to place our organization in good standing with all segments of our community so that we may continue acquiring and protecting vital lands of our impressive valley. This being my first President’s Message to our members, I consider myself extremely fortunate to report that 2004 was a banner year for the Conservancy in many departments. Preliminary numbers indicate that we were very successful in exceeding goals set for the organization. We all tip our hats to John Broesamle and

the fund raising committee for its hard work and excellent results. We also have seen many people using all of our great properties for any number of wonderful uses. Whether it’s a sack Larry Ragan lunch at Cluff Vista Park, or a family hike through the trails of the Ventura River-Rancho El Nido or Ojai Meadows Preserves, it is heart warming to see the preserves being put to full use by folks of all walks of life. On a bike ride one day I saw other bikers parked along the bike path enjoying our latest acquisition, the Confluence Preserve. We spoke about its importance in the balance of the river ecosystem, and when they left I knew they had gained a better understanding and respect for this small in size, large in value acquisition. I thank you again for your membership and volunteering activities. I hope to see you on any of our safeguarded areas. We’ll share.

Leave A Legacy Give A Gift For Future Generations Of The Ojai Valley Please join the more than twenty families and individuals who have included the Conservancy in their will or trust. Consider the lasting impact of an estate gift for the preservation of the natural and agricultural heritage of the Ojai Valley. Your contribution will be used for:

• Preserving critical open spaces like the Ventura River Preserve • Restoring important natural habitats • Educating our community to be better stewards of our open spaces If you have already named us in your estate plans, let us thank you for your generous gift and welcome you to the Conservation Legacy Circle. For a confidential inquiry about helping to protect the future and beauty of this valley, please contact the Conservancy office at 646-7930 or vist

Membership Renewals


very year, more than a thousand of our members choose to renew their membership. Thank you for your exceptional support! We are happy to recognize the following individuals and businesses who have renewed their membership since November. Your loyalty is greatly appreciated.

John & Lisa Adair Ren & Victoria Adam Village Publishing Tucker & Phil Adams Dolli Alexander David & Kathryn Allen David Allen & Co. Michael Allen Jill Andre Patty & Ross Atkinson Nancy & David Babbott Barbara Balderman Evelyn Baran Todd & Alicia Beaty Larry Beatty & Sultana Parvanta Steve Bennett & Leslie Ann Ogden Allen Bertke & Liz Currie Richard & Jean Booth Clark & Zoe Bowers Barbara Bowles Dr. Brockman & Dr. Tsao Topa Topa Optometry Lisa, Kalie, & Tori Brown Stanford & Eleanor Brown Rinaldo & Lalla Brutoco Sandy Buechley Rowe & Molly Burgett Sespe Farm Management Philip & Cindy Burton Fred & Judy Bysshe Myrna & Jim Cambianica


Allen & Marilyn Camp James & Terri Capito Michael Case Charles Casey & Ingrid Boutring Sheri Ann Cate Terry & Kathy Chaffee Alice Chesley Jim & Fran Christiansen Jim Churchill & Lisa Brenneis Martha Churchyard Coast Valley Land Surveying, Inc. Jim & Dottie Combs Roger Conrad & Ruthie Marks Mackey & Gary Crampton Evie & Bain Dayman Lanyard & Mary Dial Peter & Heidi DiCapua Margaret Dieges Sally & David Disco Marcia Doty & Celeste Matesevac Sanford & Christine Drucker Cynthia Duncan & John Hall Bonnie Durland Hugo & Linda Ekback Marjorie Emerson Andrew & Sharon Engel Donald & Rose Engel Gary & Brenda Farr John & Marjorie Fay

Don & Sheila Cluff Jocelyne Lussier

Karen Fay Dick & Kay Felton Jim & Kris Finch Frances Fitting Friends Ranches Friends Stable & Orchard Jerry & Dixie Fullerton Sue Fuhrmann & Ronald Hamlen Donald Garrett Saline Processors Lee & Betty Gibson Ken & Cheryl Glass Christine Golden Patrick & Darlene Gorey Carl & Marian Greenfield Michael & Hannelore Gresser Charles & Pauline Gustafson Harold & Jo-Anne Guy Emma & Jonathan Greene Charley & Betsy Griswold George & Mary Hakes Larry & Pat Hartmann Don & Ruth Hauser Carrie Herziger Karen Hesli Gary & Sue Horgan Norma C. Hughes Donald & Ruth Hauser Thad & Cassandra Hyland David & Sage Intner Charles & Willa Irwin


George Jaidar & Malchia Olshan Willoughby C. Johnson Joann & Carl Johnston Debbie Johnstone David & Deborah Junod Anne & Gerald Kaplan Howard & Myrna Kayton Wes & Beth Kent Carolyn & Todd Kuhn Dan Kurilchyk Royal Cleaners Carol Langford Ruth & Bob Lasell Tom & Rebecca Lowe David Magney Bo & Julie Manson Victoria Matthews Walter & Franna McCleland Michael & Julie McFadden Robert & Susan McMahan Marion Mc Isaac Cookie & Bill Miley Ruth Miller Geraldine & Dean Miner Vyvian Mohr Phil Moncharsh Chuck & Therese Montag Laurel Moore & Arne Schmidt Gerald Murphy Rudolph & Elizabeth Nava

Nye-Powell Honda-Group Pamela Nye Angela & Anthony Ocone Dietrich & Jacquelyn Pahnke Muriel Parfitt John Pavelko Carol Peterson & Curt Mossestad Ron & Judy Polito Joel Priest & Marianna Anthonisen Earl & Alice Ragland Robert & Alice Rene John & Jeanne Rennell Kathy Richards Scott Ripple Paul & Kathleen Rogers Larry Rose & Lisa Larramendy Lee & Katherine Rosenboom Shannon Rowan John & Peggy Russell Amy Schneider John & Theressa Schneider Penny & Bill Sechrest Bil & Jill Shanbrom Bill & Dolores Shouse Dr. Daniel Silver Laurie & John Slade Howard & Edie Smith Henry Joseph Sohn III Susan Speer & Gene Miller

Given by Wendy Lockwood: Glenn & Kerri Griffee Leslie Howa


Mansfield & Chilant Sprague Louise Stubblefield Robert B. Tallyn Victor & Paula Theis Anna Thomas Timothy Thomas & Sarah Clark Terry Thompson & Louisa Hagen James & Sally True Bob & Virginia Unruhe Helene & John Vachet Wendy Varian & Richard Bradley Bill & Nancy Voyer Dr. & Mrs. Mort Vinecour Jakob & Marianne Vos Liz & Doug Vernand Roger & Kathryn Wachtell Ruth Walker Barbara R. Watson Bill & Kathryn Wechter Allen & Joyce West Elizabeth & JB White Cheryl & Monte Widders George Wymer Larry & Kathleen Yee

IN HONOR OF Jim Jackson Family The Snell Family The Snell Family The Jackson’s of Ojai MEMBERSHIP CONTINUED ON PAGE


Patagonia Sandy Buechley

NEW MEMBER FORM Yes! I’ll help preserve open space in the Ojai Valley • Enclosed is my annual tax-deductible pledge/gift of: R R

$25-$49 Member $50-$99 Sustaining Member


$100-$249 Donor $250-$499 Sustaining Donor


$500-$999 Patron $1,000+ Friend of the Ojai Valley




Please make check payable to: The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. P.O. Box 1092 • Ojai, CA 93024 or contribute through your Credit Card Name on Card

Credit Card #


Amount $


Thank You


he following individuals played an important role in the success of the New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Andi Bloom/Tottenham Court Linda Caldwell Debi Cloud Nancy Pepper Barbara Landan & Robert Coit Allan & Janet Jacobs Marc Larson Sally Coleman Nancy Voyer Wendy Lockwood Vivienne Moody Jim & Susan Jackson Ginny Winfield Leta Cremer Julie & Ernie Rischar Carol Langford Claire Clarke John Grant Patsy & Harold Glenn Joyce & Rod Greene Bob & Virginia Unruhe Catherine Lee Chris & Barry Betlock

Linda Phillips Vivienne Moody Nancy Thomas Stefanie & Willi Coeler Carolejo & Robert Adams Barbara Washburn Lee Cannaday

Ren & Victoria Adam for the full page ad in the Ojai Valley Directory.

Jane & Milt Lax Cookie Miley Jim Engel, Jr. Joan Vogel The Ojai Cook Sylvia Raz

Jim Barrett and Leanne Campbell for helping construct water bars on the Wills Canyon Trail. Boy Scout Troop 504 and Bill O’Brien for helping remove tamarisk from the Ventura River.


Stefanie and Willi Coeler for rescuing vandalized trail signs from the Ventura River.


Jim Jackson, Carl Thelander and David Trudeau for their dedicated years of board service and protection of open space.


Jane Lax for joining the Conservancy’s staff and already adding so much to our success. Sheri Mayta, Tiffany Owens and Ken Niessen for mapping invasive arundo donax in the Ventura River Preserve.




you to the following members who have proT hank vided generous unrestricted membership gifts or pledges of $1,000 or more since November. Pat Jump Joan Kemper Milt & Jane Lax Dick & Barbara Lowenthal Thomas & Barbara Malley Ruthie Marks Stephen Matzkin & Melissa Wolfe Lori & Larry Mohr Susan Guy & Kenneth Niessen Larry & Laura Ragan Edward & Jane Shapiro Michael Shapiro Dewey Schorre Jill & Scott Silver Terry & Cricket Twichell John & Ginger Wilson



Annual Fund Gifts

Friends of the Ojai Valley

Peter & Susan Cheney Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe Carol Bishop Tom & Becky Collins Arie & Ida Crown Memorial Ojai Valley Inn Jurgen & Gerry Gramckow Martin & Linda Gramckow Frank & Linda Granat Wyatt & Claudia Harris Winne Hirsch Jerry & Kerry Holden Carolyn Huntsinger Jerry & Kristayani Jones Mrs. Ann Derby Joy

Special Thanks

Lerie Bjornstedt Clark & Zoe Bowers Alex & Kris Brodie Anne Littler Brown & David Brown Claire Clark Paul Dentzel Jon Dieges Hugo & Linda Ekback Roger & Pat Essick Frederick & Dana Fleet William Girvetz Don & Ruth Hauser Mike & Elizabeth Hermes Nancy Kochevar & Michael Lurie Jonathan & Linda Lambert Steve Matzkin Devin May Betty McCurley

Michael & Jay Mulligan Marty & Barbara Pops Heather Shoup & James Calkins Charles & Linda Simon William J. Spellman Glenn True & Kathleen McCann-True Arthur & Judith Vander Dorothy & Anthonie Voogd Earl & Marcia Wakelee Barbara Watson Sarah White

Helen Miller for providing great barbecued chicken at our summer volunteer patrol potluck. The New Year’s Eve event committee and volunteers for their tireless efforts in making this event so much fun and successful. John Pavelko for volunteering to build a beautiful bench for the Rancho El Nido Preserve. Jill Greene-Silver for smoothly organizing our year-end mailing. David and Edie Skaggs for again graciously hosting our Conservancy Legacy Circle Event at The Ranch House. Sanne Wallevik for keeping the OVLC office running efficiently during December. Bill and Sue Wilmer for generously donating a LaserJet printer.

N EW M EMBERS you to our 31 new members for their exceptional support. The Conservancy’s success in the last year is due to the generous financial and volunteer T hank support of our members. Dr. James T. Beaty Briana & Steve Beebe Morag E. Christie John & Harriet Clise Charles Cook & Marty Fujita


Michael Crooke & Amy Dozier Monica Eiserling Karen & William Evenden Bill & Pam Hicks

Leslie Howa Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Jones Carol Ann Koz Ed & Barbara Kutchma Ellen Kaufmann

Beverly Lavenson Thomas & Janice McCormick Roger McDivitt Paula Power Stephen J.M. Morris

Properties, LLC Stephen Schutzman Phil & Corlette Walker Mr. John Wilson Robert & Katy Zappala

How You Can Help Open Space Is Good For Ojai and Good For Business OVLC is offering new annual sponsorship opportunities for local T he businesses. This unique sponsorship program will let our conservationminded community know that you and your business support our successful efforts to protect the Valley’s vanishing open spaces. Please visit or call us at 646-7930 to learn about the many benefits of this program Ventura River Level ($5,000) ~ Mid-State Bank Ojai Meadows Level ($2,500) ~ Icon Shoes San Antonio Creek Level ($1,000) ~ Ojai Valley News ~ Patagonia Sulphur Mountain Level ($500) ~ The Ranch House Restaurant

Online Giving Conservancy now offers the T he convenience and safety of online giving. This is a great way to make your membership, special gift, campaign pledge or business sponsorship contribution without leaving home. Please visit to learn how

Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities make our preserves enjoyable H elp for everyone and experience the great outdoors. Opportunities range from leading walks, clearing trails, educating visitors, restoring critical habitat for the benefit of wildlife and people and so much more. Please contact Rich Handley at 646-7930 or


Who Are The Friends Of The Ojai Valley? The Friends of the Ojai Valley is a small group of fifty-two visionary conservation minded people who generously contribute an unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more over a period of one year. Members of the “Friends” understand that safeguarding our vanishing open spaces requires a proactive organization that has the resources necessary to respond to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and develop longterm relationships with conservation- minded landowners. Friends receive tours of future open space protection efforts, gatherings at local ranches and estates and personal updates on Conservancy projects. In addition, there is the satisfaction of knowing that their gift is helping to secure a better future for the Valley and all of our community. Become a FOTOV supporter for a minimum of $83 per month, $250 per quarter or $500 twice a year.


E xperience the energized center of our

S o many choices to choose from! (see page 3

open space protection effort in the Ojai

for more event information). The Conservancy needs volunteers to plan events, oversee other volunteers, check-in event participants, decorate event sites, set-up and take down tables and chairs, prepare food, serve food and drinks, and so much more. It’s fun, please join us!

Valley. We need people to prepare mailings, answer phones and greet visitors, put together information boards, develop flyers, organize files, distribute newsletters and flyers around the Valley, etc. Please contact Jane Lax at 646-7930 or for more information

Please contact Jane Lax at 646-7930 or for more information


Nature Notes

Open Space Benefits Community Health And Safety wetlands, streams and rivers is often P rotecting justified as an important key for safeguarding wildlife, but these endangered ecosystems also offer many benefits to local communities. Rivers, streams and wetlands found in the Ojai Valley and elsewhere are vital components for watershed health and are as important to us as blood vessels and kidneys are to the human body. Wetlands are nature’s filtering systems and help control water pollution by absorbing harmful pollutants. Healthy streams and rivers with sufficient open space buffers also recharge ground water supplies, deliver sand to our beaches and help minimize flooding and the destruction of homes and other structures. Purchasing open space for these purposes can help to avoid installing costly taxpayer funded strucFlood waters rush through the Ventura River Preserve tures such as levees and water filtration systems. The OVLC is currently managing and maintaining five open space preserves with over three miles of the Ventura River, four miles of tributary streams and one of the last remaining wetlands in the Ojai Valley. The OVLC’s open space preserves also serve as living classrooms where school children and adults learn about wetland functions and explore the importance of these special areas to human and natural communities.

Make Your Contribution Safe And Easy Online At printed on recycled paper RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Ojai Valley Land Conservancy P.O. Box 1092 Ojai, CA 93024

Permit No. 351 Ojai, CA

U.S. POSTAGE PAID Non-Profit Org.

OVLC Open Spaces Newsletter - Spring 2005  
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